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Living the Good Life in the Philippines

- July 14, 2016

Driftwood Beach Pier - the good life Some people are never satisfied. The good life could be staring right at them and they’d still choose to ignore it. I’m not ignoring it even though it sometimes seems I’m doing exactly that.

I’m living the good life in the Philippines. I have no worries at all.

Living the Good Life Takes Time

The attitude I see with the younger generations is that they want the good life now, right now. I’m living the good life but it wasn’t always this way. I had to put in the time it took to get here.

It really doesn’t matter which country I’m talking about. The younger generations don’t seem to be willing to wait for the day when they won’t have to give a damn about anything at all. I see Americans with that attitude and I see Filipinos with that attitude.

I chose to retire from everything work-related when I was 45. I could have waited, but only if my stress-levels tapered off. I did the math, sold my house and moved to the Philippines before I could change my mind.

Work, work, work, work, work

Yeah, I know, it’s a Rihanna thing. But it’s what I did all the time, starting at the tender age of 11. Despite what my siblings always said, I came from a poor family. I had four brothers and four sisters (now it’s only three). If I wanted a new pair of shoes, I had to work for them. And work I did.

The first job I was ever hired for was selling newspapers and it was only once a week. The small town I grew up in couldn’t support more than that.

My family (my parents’ family, of course) moved to Hawaii when I was 13. After a year and half, I applied for a job as a part-time janitor for the school I attended. I was hired. I made a whole $2.40 an hour when the national average for the minimum wage was $1.30. Yes, it was a long time ago.

I joined the military when I was 17 (I turned 18 in boot camp). I retired from the military when I was 37, after 20 years. I started drawing a pension equal to half my base pay at retirement. That was more than 18 years ago. My pension isn’t even close to half now and I can thank government shenanigans for that.

I had various jobs after the military, the longest being with America’s largest trucking company. I think I spent about four and a half years working as an accident claims processor for them. I would have quit that job even if I hadn’t made the decision to retire. The daily stress was eating me alive.




My Good Life

I married my wife, Josie, more than 31 years ago. I’ve learned enough of her native language to communicate comfortably where I live in the Philippines. I’ve lived here, in Olongapo, since April of 2006. Yes, it’s been more than 10 years.

The hardest decision I have to make is what I’m going to eat for breakfast every day. Really.

I remember one of my former coworkers complaining that I was living off the government’s teat. I spent 20 years doing what I didn’t want to do and going places I didn’t want to go. I put my life on the line for the people who refused to do the same. The government rewarded me with a pension.

I’m living the good life, everyday. I may complain about some things, but that’s just me. I thank the Lord for every day of my life because without him, I never would have made it this far.

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Categories: Philippines

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Ricardo (2016)

I'm with you brother! And praising the Lord just adds more Joy to this Good Life!

RT Cunningham (2016)

I'm not a religious person. I don't believe in religion (as an organization) but I believe in the almighty.

Ricardo (2016)

With you there as well. Religion, a word meaning nothing specific, roots in spaces undesirable! The sincere desire for betterment of self is a personal and difficult enough quest for me.

William Asberry (2016)

Very nice article RT. I can relate very much to your upbringing. I won't go into details because it's not about me. I respect your work ethic and courage to chase and follow your dreams. Despite the problems, the United States in my view is still the best country in the world, but freedom is an illusion.

I never felt free there. I was a slave of the economy. The Government. A slave of my work place. Cutting the cord and moving to the Philippines provided me a personal freedom I haven't felt before. We may not be free here, but I personally feel a whole lot less stressed here.

While education is important here, many lack logic. However, the good far outweighs the bad and like yourself, I get frustrated sometimes, but wouldn't go back to the U.S. for anything.

Nice read! Bill

Scott Sheaffer (2016)

Richard, as you know, I retired in June at 53 years old. I retired early becuase I didn't want to be one of those people who spends their whole life planning what they will do when they retire and then either die before or right after retirement. I retired while I was still healthy and before the stress of work made me sick beyond what my body could repair. My retirement was only 2 months ago and I'm still learning how to think about nothing and be comfortable with it. It's something I'm working on and know it will come. I'm glad things worked out for you and you're enjoying your retirement. Your early retirement helped give me the courage to take the jump and retire early too. Thanks.

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